ITALY NEEDS TRUST
The emir of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, will invest in Italy?
So said the emir during the bilateral meeting held in Rome last week with Prime Minister Mario Monti. Although Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani has not joined, of course, in the details of the promise, are two particular areas that could be involved in these investments. The first relates to the football World Cup in 2022 that will be held just in Qatar. The Emir has announced an agreement between the Italian and the Qatari Football Association, but also paved the way for investment by Italian companies to build the necessary infrastructure for the sporting event. In short, a preferred route for Italian entrepreneurs in the construction of stadiums and roads that will renew Doha within the next 10 years. But, as said, the emir mentioned investments, and they could involve the tourism area, and in particular the Costa Smeralda, that currently is in the hands of the Aga Khan. The fall of Gaddafi’s regime has created a hole – and not just economic – in many Italian financial realities. Especially the family of Ras Libya had large shares in Unicredit and Finmeccanica, just where the Emirate of Qatar could intervene effectively replacing Libya as a privileged partner of the bank and the company that manufactures fighter jets that are coveted in Doha.
Before meeting the emir of Qatar, the President had made a tour of the Middle East and, before that, had flown to China. A tour de force that aims to restore credibility to Italy and the Italian market, as well as collecting interest around our economy. Nothing concrete yet, but in addition to the words of Hamad bin Khalifa, still echo those of Chinese President Hu Jintao, who has announced plans to encourage Chinese investment in Italy. But to the words must follow the facts, at least that’s what we all expect.